5 Florida athletes competing in 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads her country out during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Five athletes from Florida are competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. One athlete is a member of the USA ice hockey team, the other four athletes are speed skaters.

Here are some interesting things to know about our Florida athletes, according to Team USA.org:

Brandon Maxwell

Brandon Maxwell is the goalie for the Team USA ice hockey team. Maxwell was born in Winter Park.

  • Height: 6’
  • DOB: 3/22/1991
  • Hometown: Winter Park, FL

Personal: Most influential persons in his life are his parents. Life aspirations:  Wants  to stay with hockey in some capacity after he finishes playing. Hobby outside of hockey: Golf. Favorite childhood NHL team while growing up: Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils. American NHL player he loves to watch: Jonathan Quick. Best moment in playing career: Winning midget major championship with my dad as coach.

Follow Brandon on social media

Brittany Bowe

  • Height: 5-7
  • DOB: 2/24/1988
  • Hometown: Ocala, Fla.

Personal: Played college basketball at Florida Atlantic University. Started speed skating in 2010 because she saw her friends from Inline who switched to ice and were competing in the 2010 Games. Enjoys going anywhere with water and sunshine. Was named an Academic All-American in college. Has 32 Inline World Championship medals. Most memorable speed skating moment: 2015 World Championships. Favorite quote: “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect makes perfect.” Favorite music: Electronic

Follow Brittany on social media

Erin Jackson

  • DOB: 9/19/1992
  • Birthplace: Ocala, Fla.
  • College: University of Florida in Gainesville, FL

Personal: Began skating in 2003. Works at Dick’s Sporting Goods in the Team USA Contender Program. Graduated form Forest High School in Ocala. Participated in track and field in high school. Studied Materials Engineering at the University of Florida. Team USA Years: 2008 – 2010, 2012 – 2014. Competition highlights: 2014 Pan American Championships 500m Gold Medalist; 2014, Pan American Olympic Festival 500m Gold Medalist, 200m Silver Medalist. Skating goal, “I hope to win the ever-elusive senior gold medal.”

Follow Erin Jackson online

Mia Manganello

  • Height: 5-8
  • DOB: 10/27/1989
  • Hometown: Crestview, Fla.
Personal: Mia started inline skating when she was eight years-old and decided to make the switch to ice so that she could chase the Olympic dream at the age of 13. After the 2010 Olympic Trials, Mia choose to take a break from speed skating and found a new passion for cycling where she raced professionally for five years. She returned to speed skating in early 2016 after realizing her love for the sport still remained. After skating she would love to pursue a career in the Culinary Arts. Her parents, Karen and Dominic, have owned an Italian Restaurant her entire life. Mia says, “There is nothing better than growing up in a kitchen. The lessons and responsibilities you learn are irreplaceable, with the greatest reward being the amount of pizza you get to eat.” As a returning athlete, she wants to cherish every moment and live her life by the following words: “If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.”

 Joey Mantia

  • Height: 5’10
  • DOB: 2/7/1986
  • Birthplace: Ocala, Fla.
Personal: In inline speedskating, won 28 World Championships titles, three Pan American Games titles, 15 World Cup gold medals, 12 Junior World titles, and more than 90 national titles. Hobbies include riding motorcycles

Check out more Olympic stories from PyeongChang. WFLA News Channel 8 Sports Anchor Annie Sabo is covering the Olympics and will be bringing you live reports from PyeongChang. Follow Annie Sabo on Facebook and Twitter.


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